Constituents of non-sugar products of sugarcane : SRDC final report BS85S
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Residues of selected pesticides were measured in samples of bagasse, filter mud and molasses from six sugar mills, in samples of dunder from two distilleries, and in cane tops and soil from four canegrowing areas of Queensland. Where possible, pesticide residue identities were confirmed using GC-MS.The largest residue concentrations occurred in the bagasse samples; a not unexpected result as limited studies have shown that most of a pesticide residue in sugarcane at harvest remains in bagasse in the milling process. Pesticides detected in bagasse were atrazine, BHC, chlorpyrifos, dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide.Smaller pesticide residues were detected in some samples of filter mud, molasses, dunder and cane tops. Pesticides detected included BHC, chlorpyrifos, 2,4-D, dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide.In all cases, the concentration of residues was below the maximum residue set for whole cane.During the project a multiresidue analytical method was developed for the analysis of selected pesticides in the various non-sugar products of sugarcane.The low concentrations of pesticides detected do not appear to have the potential to increase environmental degradation where the by-products are returned to the soil. Such return normally occurs in canefields and any pesticide residues present are in the lower range of concentrations already present in these soils.The sugar industry needs to be more aware of the presence and magnitude of pesticide residues in by-products from sugar mills and distilleries, and in sugarcane in the field, especially as these materials can be used in food production for human consumption.